Archive for the Tabletop Wargaming Category

I Played a Praetorian and All I Got Was This Lousy Tee Shirt

Posted in City of Heroes, Offline gaming, Online Gaming, Tabletop Wargaming with tags , on August 22, 2010 by koljarn

I’ve been kicking “Going Rogue” around over the last week.  I have mixed feelings about some things – specifically, character archetype roles – and overall positive impressions of the setting.  Regarding the archetype conflicts – I’m not sure who is going to want a tanker when brutes are available to take the same role, or who wants to take a stalker when scrappers can take their place in a team.  I suppose you could take a corruptor over a blaster if you’re desperate for any healing you can get, but blaster DPS is consistently higher, especially when you have aim and build-up on a quick recharge.

On the other hand, the setting is awesome.  I’m only disappointed that there are only enough zones to take you to level 20.  Praetoria is a better venue for your character, regardless of whether you have aspirations to be a hero, a villain, or something in-between.  Elements of the government are corrupt to the core, and some of the vaunted resistance movement has turned to outright terrorism.  From a hero’s point of view, there are plenty of bad apples on both sides that need to be dealt with if the population is really going to be protected.  From a vigilante’s point of view, there are lots of people who need to be punished – lots and lots.  From a rogue’s point of view, there are many people who richly deserve to be manipulated and take advantage from them.  From a villain’s point of view, the place is ripe for a little divide-and-conquer.  Overall, it is a less sterile setting than either Paragon City or the Rogue Isles.  Hopefully, new zones will be added to Praetoria in the future.

On the 40K front, I’ve done a little more painting – I’m actually close to finishing the last few terminators, if I can buckle down for a few hours and set my mind to the task.  Yesterday was the annual Games Day event in Baltimore.  I don’t attend every year, but I do go occasionally.  There was lots of cool terrain to see, and this Games Day seemed a little more relaxed to me than in years past.  Maybe I’m just getting old.  Either way, I actually enjoyed this Games Day more than previous ones.

I’ve Heard It All Before.

Posted in City of Heroes, Offline gaming, Online Gaming, Tabletop Wargaming with tags , on August 14, 2010 by koljarn

I’m still knocking about in City of Heroes.  Right now, I’m mostly playing on Virtue – my high level characters are all on Guardian.  It’s interesting – the two servers are alike and yet very different.  Both of them consider themselves “RP Servers,” and there’s plenty of snobbery to go around on both of them.  However, Virtue seems to consistently have more people online.  More people means more snobs and more jerks, but it also means more cool folks that you can meet.  The jerk to cool-person ratio is about the same on both server, but it is rare to get a group going on Guardian.  On virtue, people will group up at the drop of a hat.  Is one better than the other?  It depends on the type of character that you like to play, I suppose.  If you prefer a support character, stick to Virtue.  Solo-friendly character types will do very well on Guardian.

Anyway, to the main subject – server transfers and merges.  The Going Rogue expansion (AKA Issue 18) is going to offer free server transfers.  People from less populated servers are concerned that this will turn their server into a barren wasteland.  Okay, I’m overstating it a bit, but you get the idea.  People from more heavily populated servers are worried that this will mean that their home server will become over-congested and too busy for casual play.  Are both of these concerns justified?  Well, I think so, but I also think that in order for a MMO to be healthy, there needs to be a critical mass of players available to hang out together.  I’ve seen it in WAR, SWG, and even UO.  The single-player game is generally OK, but these games are written around the idea that you have a group of people working together.  Get a group going and all sorts of new challenges open up for you, expanding your in-game possibilities.  The server transfers will facilitate getting the players together, and that’s a good thing.

40K-wise, I’m slowly chipping away at the last few terminators.  I’ve forgotten how annoying the basic power fist can be to paint.  Consider me re-educated.

We Hunt the Fallen

Posted in City of Heroes, Offline gaming, Online Gaming, Tabletop Wargaming with tags , on August 4, 2010 by koljarn

Deathwing is always a pain to paint, but the results are stunning, even when the paint job is only table-top level.

The models in the front rank have just been completed.  All of the banners are new.

Six more metal terminators, and I’m done with Deathwing — until I decide to replace the old metal ones with plastics, of course.  I know it will happen, eventually.

Online gaming-wise, I’m playing City of Heroes, on Virtue.  My high level characters are on Guardian, but Virtue really seems to have the most active population.  Getting a rad/rad defender to 20 has been a breeze – there seems to be a critical shortage of defenders and tankers.

More online or offline updates as they occur.  Or if I feel like it.  You know the drill.

“Hello” from Room 42

Posted in Offline gaming, Tabletop Wargaming with tags on July 7, 2010 by koljarn

The Master of the Ravenwing has been teaching me the error of my ways.  I’ve been neglecting my painting skills for the last few years, and it shows – at least to me.

Anyway, here his is in his glory: Sammael, the Master of the Ravenwing on his custom land speeder.

Here’s a shot of the instrumentation:

And yes, some portions of the model are magnetized.

You Want that Apothecary to Go?

Posted in Background Noise, Offline gaming, Tabletop Wargaming with tags , on June 26, 2010 by koljarn

Vroom.  He’s gone.

Yeah, my Ravenwing Apothecary is done.  Here are a few snapshots:

He won’t win any painting contests, but he looks good enough for tabletop use.  So, now I have to finish the Ravenwing bike squads (3 bikes to go), work on a regular Ravenwing landspeeder (I might try to make it a magnetized Typhoon, though), and finally, I have decided to paint a Master of the Ravenwing on a speeder, rather than on a jetbike.

Simply Dreadful

Posted in Background Noise, Offline gaming, Tabletop Wargaming with tags , on June 21, 2010 by koljarn

So, finishing touches have been placed on my new plastic dread, and I’ve added details to my existing Forge World dread. Both painted to a tabletop standard, as is my wont.
Age before beauty. Here is the Forge World venerable dread with TLLC. I also painted a TLAC arm, and started getting mortis TLAC arms ready.

Forge World Dreadnought

That model holds up pretty well, but all the detail seems a little cluttered. I put together one of the new plastic venerable dreads with the same armament as my Forge World one (TLLC and TLAC arms). Here are the photos:

Plastic Venerable Dread

Plastic Ven Dread

And two shots of the ven dread with the TLAC arm:

Plastic Ven Dread, shot 2

Plastic Ven Dread, shot 3

I’m satisfied with the results. Now, on to my next project: a Ravenwing Apothecary.

Paging Doctor Killpatient

Posted in Offline gaming, Tabletop Wargaming with tags on June 13, 2010 by koljarn

I enjoyed finishing these models.  As always, I painted to a tabletop level of fit and finish.  I may go back and put some satic grass on the bases of the army, but the miniatures are otherwise done.

Without further ado, allow me to introduce Apothecary Nuriel (specialty: unanesthetized surgery):

And here is brother Zadkiel, bearer of the Deathwing Company Standard:

Kindly ignore the techmarine in the background, he’s puzzling over the parts for a new venerable dreadnought.  Those tech-adepts of Mars have a rotten sense of humor.  Some assembly required, eh?


Posted in Background Noise, City of Heroes, Offline gaming, Online Gaming, Tabletop Wargaming with tags , , on June 6, 2010 by koljarn

Yeah, another 40K post.  Them’s the breaks.  I’ll get back to LotRO as soon as they dish out some new content – I do have a lifetime sub, after all.

Something that I have noticed that really tweaks me a little bit is when people build army lists for 40K and cross fluff lines.  I mean that they take special characters and/or units as if they were not just a different sub-group (such as Ultramarines versus Crimson Fists), but as if they were both at the same time.

Let me be clear on this: it is not breaking the rules.  Fine.  However, it is not in the spirit of the game.  It is metaphorically similar to the difference between illegal and unethical.  Obviously, not everyone plays the game fluff-heavy, and gamesmanship is rampant among the tourney crowd.  Again, that’s fine – for them.  Mercifully, the few people against whom I play (on the rare occasions when I get to play) believe in following the fluff – the story – as much as they believe in following the rules.

Oh, well, enough ranting.  I could go one for quite a while if I don’t reign myself in.

I’ve thrown together a City of Villains character, just for the Going Rogue expansion.  If it turns out that you have to be level 40+ in order to do whatever task force is required to change sides, then such is life.  Playing a Mastermind who can summon ninjas is pretty cool, though.  Not as cool as being able to nuke a city block with a Blaster, but still fun.

That’s all for now.

Dark (Angel) Conspiracies

Posted in Offline gaming, Tabletop Wargaming with tags on May 31, 2010 by koljarn

My painting continues apace, as I have said before.  I finished two very basic Ravenwing squads, and a Deathwing assault squad.  Now, I have time to have some fun with painting – I’m going to have a crack at the Deathwing standard bearer and Apothecary that I assembled.  I also bought the bits for a Ravenwing Apothecary, but more Ravenwing can wait until I finish with the Deathwing and a new dreadnought.

My chosen chapter of Space Marines is the Dark Angel chapter, and part of their appeal is the mystery and ambiguous character of their background.  Whereas my friends prefer to play chapters such as the Salamanders (known for their protection of the innocent), I enjoy a little bit of mystery.

The “secret” shame of the Dark Angels is well-known to most 40K players.  It has been documented in several versions of their codex, and been mentioned in novels and short stories.  However, there are still several ideas and theories about the Fallen which surface from time to time.  I’ll mention three of them here:

1)      The Fallen are the “good guys.”  The argument has been made that Lion El’Jonson wanted to sit out the Horus Heresy and simply swear victory to the winner.  Most of the support for this idea comes from the book Angels of Darkness.  It certainly appeared to be a strong possibility, as very little had been written about the Dark  Angels’ activities during the Horus Heresy, but recent novels have started to explore their deeds.  In any case, in this theory, the Fallen are loyalists who fired upon the traitorous Lion El’Jonson when he returned to Caliban, thus provoking the Lion to fight them.

Does this theory hold any water?  Well, it is a possibility.  Consider that even if the marines of the Dark Angels were not involved in any command decisions to not get involved in the Horus Heresy, they have been hunting the Fallen for 10,000 years, rather than acting as regular marines and defending the Imperium.  If the Fallen were innocent, that wouldn’t exactly reflect well upon the character of the Dark Angels.

2)      The Fallen are loyalists who made a mistake.  This theory states that the Fallen may indeed be loyalists who fired on the returning Dark Angels in error.  In the book Fallen Angels, Lion El’Jonson makes the choice to deny Horus access to siege equipment rather than to oppose Horus directly on the field of battle.  Unfortunately, the Dark Angels secure the siege engines and turn them over to another legion, not knowing that they have give the siege weapons to one of the Primarchs who secretly swore fealty to Horus.  Outside of Lion El’Jonson’s small strike force, it could certainly appear that the Lion seized the weapons and handed them over to Horus.  Naturally, the loyalists left on Caliban would assume that the other Dark Angels had sided with Horus, and they would open fire on the returning fleet.

This theory is definite possibility.  However, it does not take into consideration any of the activities on Caliban, as they have not been described in the novels in any detail.  The Dark  Angels on Caliban pretty much decided that Imperial rule was harmful for the world.  Luther is dabbling in forbidden lore – but so have countless Inquisitors, so that means nothing on its own.  He may eventually be corrupted by this research, but that is beyond the scope of existing novels.

3)      Cypher is a tool of the Inner Circle.  The novels also shed some light on the character known as Cypher.  It turns out that “Cypher” is actually a name for an official position within the Order.  When one becomes Lord Cypher, one drops all previous names.  In other words, he is appointed, and can be replaced.

Consider: what if the Dark Angels decided that they would divide the legion into chapters, as decreed by the edicts of the Lords of Terra, but they wanted to still be able to act together.  If they could appoint a new “Lord Cypher,” with all of the trappings that he was supposed to have, then they could have this new Cypher pop up wherever they wished to target an area, leak his location to all other Unforgiven chapters, and hit the target marked by Cypher’s presence.  It would also explain Cypher’s continuous escapes and reemergence.  After all, if Cypher is slain or captured, it is no difficult feat to either let him go or to appoint a new Cypher.

As far-fetched as this idea seems, it is a strong possibility based on the Black Library book The 13th Black Crusade.  Cypher appears wherever there are cults and/or unrest, and the Unforgiven pursue him with a vengeance.  Countless cults and resistance cells are crushed in this campaign, and Cypher is ultimately captured, yet vanishes from his cell on the Rock.  It all seems a little too convenient.

In addition to these theories, there is, of course, the possibility that Cypher and the Fallen are just what the codex and stories purport them to be – Dark Angels who fell to Chaos.  Personally, I find this unlikely.  I’ve read more than a few strong hints that elements of the Inquisition are aware of the Fallen and the Dark Angels’ pursuit of them.  Almost certainly, if the Inquisition knew about the defection of a large number of Dark Angels to the side of Chaos (even 10 millennia ago), the Unforgiven would have been censured and declared traitors long ago.   Something else is at work, here.

News from the Rock

Posted in Offline gaming, Tabletop Wargaming with tags on May 20, 2010 by koljarn

Been working a bunch of overtime, but I’ve been forcing myself to paint for an hour or two almost every day.  Progress through persistance, and all of that.

So, as promised long ago, here are some of the things on which I’ve been spending my precious free time.

Tactical Squad 1 – rebased, with a new lascannon to compliment the plasma gun,  and with a new sergeant model:

Tactical Squad 2 – identical loadout and the same work:

Here are some different models also rebased, so that I can swap out the weapons in the tac squads as required:

Here’s Devastator Squad 9.  Replaced the four lascannon previously in this squad with missile launchers updated the sergeant:

How about some more ranged firepower?  Rebased sniper scouts with a heavy bolter:

Finally, I really do not like to post work-in-progress shots, but here are the bikes of the two Ravenwing sergeants that I’m painting at this time: